Just when you think you figured out the training regimen for Ironman, it becomes abundantly clear that it’s all worthless if you’re not eating right. That is how I met Dale.
Six weeks before Ironman Louisville during my last prep race, I bonked badly on the run. In analyzing the race, I realized that I had significantly under eaten. For one thing, I really did not know how much to eat. And for another, I could not bring myself to eat any more Clif bars or Gu packets and the sugar in the energy drinks was seriously upsetting my stomach. Athlete friends of mine recommended Dale Benedict as someone who understood how to eat for an Ironman.
Dale’s advice changed the course of my training. He said that it really wouldn’t matter what I ate during the race if I didn’t start fueling my body differently immediately. 100 g of protein, 10 servings of vegetables, with 5 servings of good carbs — every day! Not easy to do but I saw benefits right away in more energy for my final days of training. He also taught me how to make natural food to bring along on training rides and runs, and on race day, and my stomach difficulties disappeared.
Eating the way Dale recommended, my BMI went down half a percent in four weeks. This was not from the training (my training was tapering) but from the eating! I asked Dale to calculate how much protein and vegetables I would need to be eating when I got back to a normal training schedule. He ran the numbers and told me it was still 100 g of protein and 10 vegetables a day. It was the beginning of my understanding that this is how to eat as an athlete, and as a lean and fit person, from now on.